Fall in out-of-work benefit claims in the East Riding since Universal Credit roll-out

Department for Work and Pensions statistics show 4,670 people in the East Riding of Yorkshire claimed out-of-work benefits in August. Photo: PA Images.
Department for Work and Pensions statistics show 4,670 people in the East Riding of Yorkshire claimed out-of-work benefits in August. Photo: PA Images.

Fewer people are now claiming unemployment benefits in the East Riding than before the roll-out of Universal Credit, new figures reveal.

Across Great Britain, the number of claimants has fallen, with anti-poverty charity Turn2us warning that the switchover masks a “failing” benefits system.

Department for Work and Pensions statistics show 4,670 people in the East Riding claimed out-of-work benefits in August.

This was up 4% from last year, but still 25% fewer than in 2014, the earliest available data after the introduction of Universal Credit.

Across Yorkshire and The Humber, there were 118,906 claimants in August – representing a 27% fall over the five-year period. Unemployment in the East Riding also rose last year, the figures show, from 2.3% of the workforce to 2.4%.

David Samson, welfare benefit specialist at Turn2us, said: “If people aren’t claiming out-of-work benefits because they are receiving high pay in meaningful work, then that is fantastic. But if the claimant count is low because the DWP has created a hostile, complex or intimidating environment, then that is troubling.”

Employment minister Mims Davies said: “Unemployment remains at less than 4%, and it’s important to remember that these latest figures should be balanced against the huge jobs growth in recent years, with over 3.6 million more people in work since 2010 and compared to this time last year we have seen a rise of over 280,000 more people in work, the vast majority of whom are women.